Teen charged in bottle-store burglary

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 12:00 25/02/2014

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The East

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Burglars left a behind a trail of broken bottles after breaking into a Hornby liquor store this morning. 

Police said a security guard alerted them to the break-in at the Drink Station in The Hub mall shortly after midnight. Two offenders had used rocks to break the front window. 

"They made off with several bottles of alcohol, but appear to have dropped some as they left the scene," police said. 

A 16-year-old was found nearby with a bottle of vodka from the store. He was arrested and charged with burglary. 

Police were still looking for a second offender. 

The incident was not related to two liquor store robberies in St Albans and Phillipstown on Friday night.

In the second robbery, at the Warrington Discount Liquor Centre, the store manager told a frightened customer to "just keep shopping" as he was punched by one of three offenders about 9.40pm. 

Twenty-one-year-old Arshdeep said he "got a bad feeling" about three men who came into the store. They were "shouting and aggressive".

Arshdeep said they were only in the store about five minutes. His assistant was in a storeroom at the time but one other customer was there.

The men selected three bottles of liquor and approached the counter but then went to leave without paying. He tried to stop them by grabbing a bottle across the counter, and one of the men "just started punching me".

He was hit in the chest and shoulder while he tried to back away. "I was scared [one] might have a knife," Arshdeep said. He called out to the other customer for help but was told "I'm scared too".

"I said, 'OK just keep shopping'," he said.

The offenders then ran off. Arshdeep said the store was robbed only a month ago but this was the first time he had been assaulted.

"Every month something happens here," he said. "It's a good job but not a good area."

He said it was "a bad feeling" to be assaulted but the punches were not bad enough to keep him from work. "I'm feeling fine now."

Police said they were investigating possible links between the incidents.

Arshdeep said two of the men appeared to be Maori and the third was European.

In the first robbery, about 30 minutes earlier, a shop assistant at an Aldwins Rd, Phillipstown, store was pushed as he tried to stop two men making off with liquor.

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